A new training approach equips local Sunday School administrators by fine-tuning their skills and challenging them to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the ministries they lead.
"Sunday School Administrator Training Retreats," Clancy Hayes explains, "focus on lay leaders and their role in the discipleship process of the local church."
Hayes, training coordinator for the Sunday School Department, notes that pastors have a heart for discipleship, but often due their heavy schedules they are not able to focus on one ministry like Sunday School. "We believe that the key to a successful Sunday School is committed and competent men and women who make designing an effective Sunday School their priority. These retreats will acknowledge the value of Sunday School administrators and provide practical suggestions and resources to help them maximize the evangelism and discipleship potential of Sunday School ministry." The retreats are a cooperative effort of the national Sunday School Department, Gospel Publishing House, and the district Christian education departments.
During each retreat, Sunday School leaders are introduced to 10 key principles that will help them to succeed as leaders.
Topics include: creating and communicating vision for ministry; promoting spiritual and numeric growth; recruiting, motivating, and training a ministry team; and planning and prioritizing facility use. The material covered in the retreat corresponds to the 178-page, reproducible Sunday School Administrators Reference Manual recently released by the Sunday School Department. Each church receives a reference manual as part of their registration fee.
During the first two retreats, sponsored by the Gulf Latin and the Michigan districts, nearly 100 Sunday School leaders received training. The feedback has been very positive.
Hayes reports the following comments from leaders attending in Michigan.
- * "The manual that we can take home and go through at our leisure is outstanding."
- "The material is so practical and easy to implement."
- "The retreat reinforces goals with practical steps to fulfill them."
- "The material was very helpful. With the notebook and manual, I have something to go back to for future reference."
Retreats are scheduled as either stand-alone events or as part of a district all-church ministries conference. Check the "Calendar of Events" page for more information. Those who wish to take part in one of the Sunday School Administrator Training Retreats should contact the sponsoring District Council office for details.
Clancy Hayes is training coordinator and district liaison for the Sunday School Department, Springfield, Missouri. Sunday School. All rights reserved. Used with permission.